Oct 2, 2013

Naming hurricanes and tropical storms

Since 1950, hurricane names are officially selected from library sources and are decided during the international meetings of the World Meteorological Organization (WHO). The names are chosen to reflect the cultures and languages found in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Hawaiian regions. The National Hurricane Center near Miami, Florida, selects the name from one of the six listings for Region 4 (Atlantic and Caribbean area) when a tropical storm with rotary action and wind speeds above 39 miles (62 kilometers) per hour develops. Letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included because of the scarcity of names beginning with those letters. Once a storm has done great damage, its name is retired from the six-year list cycle. (The Handy Science Answer Book, compiled by the Science and Technology department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)